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San Diego Unified Board President responds after the CDC says teachers don't need to be vaccinated

San Diego Unified Board President Richard Barrera says one thing is certain to reopen schools: “Get our educators vaccinated.”

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Unified Board President disagrees with the CDC and says to get students back in the classroom, teachers need to be vaccinated - not all - but enough to safely to start phasing in on-campus learning. 

Eleven months of distance learning in San Diego Unified, and board president Richard Barrera says one thing is certain to reopen schools.

“Get our educators vaccinated. That is the most crucial thing that we can do,” said Barrera.

But the CDC says teachers don't need the COVID-19 vaccine to get back to class. 

“Vaccination of teachers is not a pre-requisite to safe reopening of schools,” said CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky

On Wednesday, Governor Newsom supported President Biden's proposed reopening plan, which allocates $480 billion toward school relief - the governor submitted a budget including $6 billion for school reopenings.

“And I'm confident we can get to where we need to go. And that's safely reopening our schools for in-person instruction, starting with the younger grades and those with special needs,” said Newsom.

In nearly half of all states, teachers are getting the shot including California. Two weeks ago the Alpine School District vaccinated its staff. Barrera says the doses came from an Indian Reservation. San Diego County health officials say the problem here is there are not enough doses to vaccinate all educators only those who are 65 and older. 

Barrera says if San Diego County and UC San Diego would reserve some lanes at the Petco Park Super Station, all the educators needed to start reopening schools, could receive the first dose all in one day.

“In San Diego Unified, if we could just get a few thousand of our educators vaccinated, that would be the first step to starting to bring students back to school in phases,” said Barrera. “And I just think we need to have a sense of urgency.”  

The San Diego County Office of Education updates the status of its districts and schools the second and fourth Monday of every month. To view a school's reopening plan under the SDCOE, click here

RELATED: Here's how San Diego residents can register to get a COVID-19 vaccine

RELATED: The first federal vaccination sites to open in California

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